Screens x
person mobile gaming

We don’t talk about it as much anymore, but really, it’s still around and bigger than ever.

A few years ago, it seemed like casual games were taking over. Big hitters like Angry Birds and Candy Crush were tearing up the download charts and creating water cooler conversations the world over; they’d really broken through into the mainstream.

Since then, you could be misled into thinking that the casual gaming scene had peaked, and that today there is less interest in this niche, with no obvious viral success stories emerging recently.

In reality, mobile gaming is bigger than ever, and what’s actually happened is that rather than staying a novelty as it once was, it’s just a staple of the wider market and doesn’t need to be talked about in the same breathless tones.

If you’re still not sure about the health of casual mobile gaming, just consider the soaring popularity of the following titles and adjust your expectations accordingly.

Call of Duty: Mobile

With literally hundreds of millions of people actively playing the mobile version of high-profile FPS franchise Call of Duty, there’s no questioning the huge influence that it has over the industry right now.

The ability to dip into short bursts of action while out and about, and enjoy impressive graphics and frame rates thanks to the power of modern smartphones, means that CoD: Mobile is sure to stay relevant for years to come as well.

Bear in mind that back in the heyday of the original mobile gaming boom, it would not have been possible to deliver console-like visuals on portable devices. Yet today, this is more than achievable, even on mid-range handsets.

League of Legends: Wild Rift

Like CoD: Mobile, this game is a portable adaptation of a franchise that first found fame on desktop machines. And League of Legends: Wild Rift works incredibly well, translating the MOBA formula to handheld devices without sacrificing anything in the process.

Positive critical responses, as well as praise for the positivity of the player community compared with standard LoL, makes Wild Rift a compelling option even if you’ve never quite clicked with the original.

Although, of course, you don’t have to settle for all-out action, because mobile gaming has never been more diverse. Whether you’d prefer to play a restaurant game like Star Chef 2 or an indie puzzler like Lumen, there are varied experiences out there for all tastes.

Genshin Impact

Platform-spanning and all-consuming for the people who fall for its charms, Genshin Impact has resonated with players on mobile as well as on PC and console.

Much of the attraction comes down to the free to play mechanics and the sprawling open world that players can explore as they see fit. The ability to mix up combat with different playable characters and a range of moves and powers, as well as great anime-inspired graphics, help to further solidify Genshin Impact as a behemoth of mobile gaming today.

Hearthstone

Back when Hearthstone first launched in 2014 it was a game-changer for developer Blizzard, allowing it to carve a niche in the casual gaming market with a collectible card title that had something to offer casual players and hardcore strategists alike.

Smash cut forward to 2022, and Hearthstone is still alive and well, with the original game modes being expanded upon to create a cavalcade of experiences, while also making it more accessible to newcomers and less of a pay-to-win experience than in the past.

The rise of Battlegrounds, Duels and Mercenaries within the Hearthstone ecosystem, along with the endless appeal of the Standard and Wild modes, keeps things fresh without alienating longtime fans.

Among Us

The multiplayer hit of 2018 is another enduring favorite on mobiles, as well as other devices. Its back-stabbing gameplay may not be especially complicated, but that’s the entire point. It has innate appeal that connects with all sorts of audiences, and never outstays its welcome.

It’s one of the best examples of a game that started out on smartphones, then got catapulted into the stratosphere, in part by word-of-mouth recommendations as well as by big-time streamers, resulting in its adaptation to other platforms.

Fortnite

One of the more controversial games on mobile devices, Fortnite has had a rocky time of it because both Apple and Google have taken steps to prevent it appearing on their app stores, in spite of initially hosting Epic’s huge hit without issue.

Players have managed to get around this apparent ban by playing Fortnite via third party services, with Nvidia’s GeForce Now being a good example, and Microsoft’s own Xbox-branded cloud gaming solution becoming the latest to add Fortnite support.

This speaks to the ingenuity, persistence and power of the mobile gaming audience, showing that even casual, mainstream titles can bring mass market audiences over to the hardcore side.

Leave a Reply